A woman accused of stabbing her partner to death on
Valentine's Day this year dropped to the floor and cried "I
killed my man" after she inflicted the fatal wound, a witness
has told the High Court at Gisborne.
Patricia Erica Paton, 30, is on trial charged with the murder
of her long-term partner and father of her three children,
Lawrence Teepa-Moon, 33, on February 14, 2012 at their Elgin
Paton has pleaded not guilty.
In his opening statement, defence counsel David Sharp told
the jury Paton did not have murderous intent but was acting
in legitimate self-defence during a "frightening episode" of
Crown prosecutor Jo Rielly said Paton stabbed the deceased
once through the neck with a knife from their kitchen after a
violent struggle in the hallway of their home.
"This stab wound was a deep, penetrating wound that caused
him to bleed to death."
Mr Teepa-Moon, a forestry worker, was stabbed in the left
side of his neck.
The blade penetrated 9.5cm, severing the left jugular vein
and the carotid artery.
Despite efforts by Mr Teepa-Moon's brother to stem the blood,
and resuscitation attempts by paramedics, Mr Teepa-Moon
stopped breathing very soon after the ambulance arrived.
The sequence of events leading up to Mr Teepa-Moon's death
was outlined by Mrs Rielly.
On Tuesday, February 14, about 10 family members had gathered
at the accused and deceased's house for a drinking session
from around lunchtime.
Witnesses spoke of how people came and went from the address.
As the night wore on squabbles erupted between some of the
couples, including Paton and Mr Teepa-Moon, who witnesses
said had a history of domestic violence.
Paton and the deceased argued over whether he had an improper
interest in one of the women there. Paton believed he did,
said Mrs Rielly.
A fight broke out between them and Paton ran to the kitchen
and grabbed two knives.
Mr Teepa-Moon, who was described as a big man and physically
strong, followed her into the kitchen, carrying a beer
Despite the efforts of people to break up the fight, a
witness said she saw Paton in a "fast and swift" motion stab
Mr Teepa-Moon in the neck.
He fell against the cupboards in the kitchen as Paton fell to
the floor in tears and said "I've killed my man".
Paton and Mr Teepa-Moon's children were at the house when it
They were rushed crying from the scene to a property two
doors down, where Paton's brother and his partner lived.
Paton left the scene shortly afterwards.
A truck driver on his way from Gisborne to Tauranga saw a
woman in the middle of his lane as he was travelling along
State Highway 2.
He stopped. It was Paton and she asked him for a ride to
Opotiki. He asked why she was going there and she said she
wanted to go to her dad's house.
He noticed swelling to her face and blood on her clothing and
asked her what had happened.
She told him her partner had given her a hiding. She also
said her partner had stabbed himself.
When they got to Opotiki, she changed her mind and said she
wanted to be dropped off at her cousin's house. After the
truck driver did that, he called the police.
The trial is expected to last all week.
- Gisborne Herald